Gavin Harrison here!

bananers

Junior Member
You spoke about Ted Reed's Syncopation during you live video chat on Youtube recently, where you mentioned practicing patterns on the bass drum and filling the remaining triplets with the left hand. During this chat you mentioned few specific famous pages in the book, which you laminated separately. What are those pages? Couldn't find them on the internet.


Hey AbrahimSMenon,

Sorry to butt in! Not sure where you're based, I got my copy from a shop in Denmark St, London several years back for £6.95! Still haven't gotten through nearly as many possibilities as I wanted but it's soooo worth it. Probably a copy available to buy online for a similar price
 

AbhiramSMenon

New member
Hey AbrahimSMenon,

Sorry to butt in! Not sure where you're based, I got my copy from a shop in Denmark St, London several years back for £6.95! Still haven't gotten through nearly as many possibilities as I wanted but it's soooo worth it. Probably a copy available to buy online for a similar price


Hey bananers,

I am based near San Francisco, CA. I did get my book about a year back on Amazon. But haven't really got to it and started working on it. But the idea that Gavin Harrison suggested seemed pretty cool to me and I guess I would like to focus on that. But talking about possibilities, just keeping an ostinato on any two limbs and playing the patterns on the third limb and filling in remaining notes on the fourth limb, trying all limb combinations, opens up a ton of possibilities. Then there is straight and swing. Its just a lot of work!:rolleyes: Thinking about these ideas seem a lot easier than actually working through all of them. Haha

Abhiram
(Pronounced Aa- bee- ram, the Hindu version of Abraham or Ibrahim)
 

bananers

Junior Member
But talking about possibilities, just keeping an ostinato on any two limbs and playing the patterns on the third limb and filling in remaining notes on the fourth limb, trying all limb combinations, opens up a ton of possibilities. Then there is straight and swing. Its just a lot of work!:rolleyes: Thinking about these ideas seem a lot easier than actually working through all of them. Haha
There's so much to do, I worked from page 38 alone for many exams I had - one of the most challenging and interesting for me was playing a jazz ride line and stepped 2&4 hats whilst interpreting the rhythm between left hand and right foot!

I won't clog up the page with this chat but it really is the drummers bible 😂 Modern Reading in 4/4 is a great one too!
 

Federico Bressan

Junior Member
Good Evening Gavin,

I was hoping to ask your advice regarding the drumset hearing through in-ear monitor during live sessions.

I have an extreme necessity to hear the feeling with my instrument so I can play relaxed and I can focus on groove with the band.
Currentyl I’m using a Yamaha MG82cx mixer where in first channel I put the bass drum mic, in the second channel the snare drum top mic, third channel for left overhead and fourth for right overhead.
In the fifth channel I have a cable that comes form the sound technician’s mixer where I have all band’s sound, except my drum.
I also have another channel for the click.

Honestly I’m not satisfied yet with the result that i get in my headphones during live sessions.
Did you have any advice about your way of feeling drumset through headphones during live sessions?

Thank you very much for your time and to keep inspiring me every day.

Best regards.
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
I was hoping to ask your advice regarding the drumset hearing through in-ear monitor during live sessions.

I have an extreme necessity to hear the feeling with my instrument so I can play relaxed and I can focus on groove with the band.
Currentyl I’m using a Yamaha MG82cx mixer where in first channel I put the bass drum mic, in the second channel the snare drum top mic, third channel for left overhead and fourth for right overhead.
In the fifth channel I have a cable that comes form the sound technician’s mixer where I have all band’s sound, except my drum.
I also have another channel for the click.

Honestly I’m not satisfied yet with the result that i get in my headphones during live sessions.
Did you have any advice about your way of feeling drumset through headphones during live sessions?
Hi Federico

I'm now using a similar desk MG10XU right next to my drums. I think before that - I used the exact same one you have.
I guess some of it depends on which in-ears you use and if they are custom molds or generic fit? How much outside sound is leaking into your ears passed the in-ears?
I also have the bass drum in channel one (plus I have the Porter & Davies system that gives me the bass drum directly into the stool top).
Snare drum in channel two (plus some reverb and compression)
A mix of my (toms and overheads) and the band in channels 3&4. However - all of this is being pre-mixed via the band's PreSonus desk. I can change anything I want from that desk via my iPad - although I almost never touch it during the show.

It's a bit of a complex monitoring configuration but it's pretty consistent from show to show - apart from the sound of the venue and the proximity of the sub speakers. It is really important to feel as comfortable as you can on stage - but it's never ideal because the drums themselves make SO much sound - it's virtually impossible to have a 'great' mix. I just to end up with something I can play to.

best of luck
Gavin
 

Alex P.

Junior Member
Hi everyone,

I had a little time to kill during the lockdown, so I did this transcription of the latest Gavin's drum solo on his new SQ2 kit.
It's "only" 2'30 minutes long but there's a LOT of things to work on !


You'll find the PDF file on my website : https://www.alexpage.fr

Thank you Gavin for the permission to upload the video !

Have a safe lockdown.
Alex Page
 

AllenS

Junior Member
Gavin! How are you? You're one of my favorite "modern" rock drummers. I appreciate your humility and your musicality. Cheers.

- Allen
 

MGC101

Member
I've included a little cheat sheet with the applied system discussed by Gavin. It is just the first 24 measures of page 38, with the bass drum playing the original notation and the snare filling in the gaps. The right hand and left foot play a standard swing.

Highly recommended to purchase the book. It is pretty daunting and looks like it was written in sharpie, but contains an overwhelming amount of practice material. You could also do similar systems to Modern Reading in 4/4 by Louis Bellson, and in a slightly different way, The New Breed by Gary Chester. It's also worth noting the the two John Riley books (Art Of Bop Drumming and Beyond Bop Drumming) automatically apply similar comp patterns to swing, and can be very challenging.

Michael
 

Attachments

bananers

Junior Member
It is just the first 24 measures of page 38, with the bass drum playing the original notation and the snare filling in the gaps. The right hand and left foot play a standard swing.
I like using this system because it helps a lot with jazz phrasing and comping ideas - since you shared this is what I've been revisiting lately, similar idea, in swung time but "longer" notes are assigned to the bass drum and shorter to the snare. My struggle is with the stepped hi hats.

Alannah
20200425_000509-min.jpg
 

MGC101

Member
My struggle is with the stepped hi hats.
Totally hear you on that. That aforementioned John Riley book "The Art of Bop Drumming" and its logical progression of comp examples really helped me get the hi-hat more properly "installed" on beats 2 and 4. The third comp example is essentially the same as your interpretation of the Syncopation stuff and features some nice eighth note back and forth with the kick and snare, often with some "question and answer" qualities, highly recommended.
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi AllenS

Gavin! How are you? You're one of my favorite "modern" rock drummers. I appreciate your humility and your musicality. Cheers.


thanks - I'm doing fine and somehow seem to be working more than before the "lock-down".

Hi MGC101

I've included a little cheat sheet with the applied system discussed by Gavin. It is just the first 24 measures of page 38, with the bass drum playing the original notation and the snare filling in the gaps. The right hand and left foot play a standard swing.


Excellent ! Thanks for posting that. It was exactly the first part of my lesson with Dave Cutler in 1980 and the second part nicely ties in with Alannah's post. The "long and short" idea. Dave had me play every "short" note (any 8th note in the syncopation melody) as a stepped hi hat and then all the "long notes" (everything in the melody that is longer than an 8th note) on the bass drum - meanwhile all the missing parts of a triplet played as ghost notes on the snare drum and the ride swing pattern in the right hand of course.

I've been working on a few more ideas lately. Let me see if I can explain them.

The right hand plays swing on the ride
The left hand plays the melody on the snare drum
All the missing notes of a triplet are played between the hi hat (stepped) and the bass drum. (Where there is only space to fit in one foot use the hi hat stepped. Where there is space for two feet - play hi hat then bass drum. Where there is space for more then two notes just run HH, BD, HH, BD etc.

As the focus in this example is about the order that the feet fill in the missing triplets (from the melody) let's call this "Left Foot Leading". Here's the first 4 bars. (Ted Reed book page 38).

left foot leading.jpg

and once you have that down - try "Right Foot Leading". I'll let you work that out.

cheers
Gavin
 

bananers

Junior Member
Totally hear you on that. That aforementioned John Riley book "The Art of Bop Drumming" and its logical progression of comp examples really helped me get the hi-hat more properly "installed" on beats 2 and 4.
Cheers Michael, I'll definitely go grab that book - I've got Modern Reading also but with that and Syncopation doing jazz stuff is up to your own discipline, would be nice to have something that's properly structured towards it! Thanks for that!

As the focus in this example is about the order that the feet fill in the missing triplets (from the melody) let's call this "Left Foot Leading". Here's the first 4 bars. (Ted Reed book page 38).

View attachment 91949
Thanks for including this idea Gavin! I'm definitely going to explore this, particularly as my 4 way co-ordination needs work! I'd imagine after actually getting the notes down, making the linear parts flow in a convincing triplet 'sound' is going to be a challenge.

Alannah
 
Hi Gavin, hope you are well! I was wondering what your experience is on the subject of bass drum depth. It’s a subject that’s always eluded me slightly (along with many drummers I feel). I’ve noticed that for a long time you played a 22x17” but then switched to a 22x15” with the blue kit and then went back to the 22x17” for the new kit. I was wondering what your thought process was when making those changes? And was there anything in particular that made you choose those sizes over 14” or 16” depths? Sorry if I’m splitting hairs here - just curious!

All the best,
Robin
 

MGC101

Member
The right hand plays swing on the ride
The left hand plays the melody on the snare drum
All the missing notes of a triplet are played between the hi hat (stepped) and the bass drum. (Where there is only space to fit in one foot use the hi hat stepped. Where there is space for two feet - play hi hat then bass drum. Where there is space for more then two notes just run HH, BD, HH, BD etc.
Wow! I couldn't help myself and went and made another 24 measures based on this concept. About to sit down with this here and give it a go...thank you so much Gavin for giving me something awesome (and seemingly very challenging from the looks of it) to work on this afternoon. And as well, thanks for reminding me to notate in 12/8 for this kinda thing. I did the math - I just saved my printer from having to print a little 3 144 times. Cleans up the page and certainly helps when writing it by hand!

Michael
 

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Hello Gavin, how are you ?
I understand that we can ask questions here (I'm not very familiar with this forum...)
I wanted to know : what are the bass drum beaters you use ? I couldn't identify them.
Also in your faq you told us about the pitch of your toms, but how do you identify the enotes from your toms ? By ear, with a software linked to mics ?
Cheers from France ! Thanks.
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi Alannah

I'm definitely going to explore this, particularly as my 4 way co-ordination needs work! I'd imagine after actually getting the notes down, making the linear parts flow in a convincing triplet 'sound' is going to be a challenge.

yes getting all the right notes in the right order is one thing...getting it to sound smooth and swinging with the right dynamics is what takes the real time - but is actually the most rewarding.

Hi DrummerRobin

I was wondering what your experience is on the subject of bass drum depth. It’s a subject that’s always eluded me slightly (along with many drummers I feel). I’ve noticed that for a long time you played a 22x17” but then switched to a 22x15” with the blue kit and then went back to the 22x17” for the new kit. I was wondering what your thought process was when making those changes?


Here's a funny thing. I played the blue kit (with the 22x15) for a few tours and when I got home I had the black and white kit (with the 22x17) set up in my studio. I found playing that 22x17 bass drum (especially with double bass drum pedal) a lot easier. When the blue kit returned home I tried both bass drums side by side and concluded that the 17" depth was easier for me to play. It could be the tension and the amount of air it takes before it rebounds off the front head - maybe just that size volume of air is easier to move? I don't really know. I always assumed that the shallower depths would be easier to play - but to my surprise the opposite was true - at least for me. I have in the past had 14" and 16" (even 12" on my first drumset!) but I haven't played those depths in a while. Maybe there's a golden ratio (diameter to depth) that just works better?

Hi Michael

I couldn't help myself and went and made another 24 measures based on this concept.

thanks very much for laying that out. Once I have a new system I usually spend a long time just trying to play the first 8 bars - but I do make a deliberate effort to go ahead and get through all 8 pages of the syncopation. The first page never has more than 3 notes in a row - after that it gets slightly harder on the other 7 pages. Part of the fun for me is the simultaneous sight reading and calculating how to perform the system in a real time continuous flow. You can feel the brain waves moving through your head. It's very rewarding and probably why I'm still practising this material 40 years later. More recently I've been playing a system that is the same as the first example you attached - but instead of 2&4 stepped on the hi hat - I've been playing continuous quarter note triplets stepped on the hi hat. Does that make sense?

Hi Samuel

I wanted to know : what are the bass drum beaters you use ? I couldn't identify them.

The bass drum beaters are Sonor SCH 28.

Also in your faq you told us about the pitch of your toms, but how do you identify the notes from your toms ? By ear, with a software linked to mics.

I just use my ears - and reference my piano to find the pitch. Sometimes it's quite hard because of the overtones a real drum might produce. It's not always a clear note.

cheers
Gavin
 

MGC101

Member
Part of the fun for me is the simultaneous sight reading and calculating how to perform the system in a real time continuous flow.
When I was working through jazz material initially, there was always a printed swing pattern above the comp notes, specifically showing that the & of 2 and 4 is"hard" to play (because it lines up with the swing) and the & of 1 and 3 were "easy" (as they played in the empty space.) Eventually these became memorized, and the need to actually see the swing and how it related to the pattern diminished, and it was actually easier to see just a simple string of notes and apply a swing pattern to it in real time. That was almost part of the practice to me - quickly scanning and applying the swing (and left foot hi hat) without needing to see it. I actually find it harder sometimes to see the fully printed swing because my brain is trying to calculate all that extra notation, despite it being something I'm doing automatically. I'm not sure if that makes sense, but I completely get the value of "sight reading and calculating the system in real time" and yes, I can absolutely feel my brain kicking into over drive and flowing.

More recently I've been playing a system that is the same as the first example you attached - but instead of 2&4 stepped on the hi hat - I've been playing continuous quarter note triplets stepped on the hi hat. Does that make sense?
I think! You mentioned them being quarter note triplets - so 6 hi-hats per measure, with the hi hats having a little 3 over 2 with each two-beat swing? This would mean the hi-hat lines up with the left-hand/right-foot every two eighth note triplets...yikes! I have my work cut out for me with that one!

Like this?
IMG-6487.jpg

Thanks again Gavin. Really fun to work through this material and getting an insight into the things you work on is awesome. Got enough practice material to keep me busy for years to come.

Michael
 

Gavin Harrison

DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hi Michael,

yes that is correct but I think I might be able to help you with the overall approach. Back in the beginning of trying to figure this out in 1980 I realised that I was going to have to break it down and simplify the whole thing. I couldn't just start with bar one and torture myself until I learnt it - note for note 'parrot fashion' - and then move onto bar 2 and so on. So I thought of it like this: The notes on the page - when interpreted as swing (triplets) could only ever be 'on the beat' or the '3rd part of a triplet'. First I need to figure what parts are playing an ostinato? In this system we're looking at - it's the ride and the stepped hi hat.
Swing.jpg

You need to be TOTALLY comfortable in playing this - to the point where it becomes almost automatic and requires a minimum of concentration because you're going to be focused on the parts that are always moving - the 'melody' - and the 'filling in'. So to make it as simple as I could I started with these four bars:
EX 1.jpg

that gives me the simple 'on beats' and 'off beats' (the 'off beats' of course being interpreted as the 3rd part of the triplet). With every system (in this Ted Reed context) that I ever approached I started by playing these 4 bars for a VERY LONG time - and even when I got it going onto the 8 pages of syncopation and found a point where I tripped over - I'd come back to these four bars and practise them over and over. I needed the ostinato to be virtually automatic so I could just focus on the rules of the system and calculate exactly what the bass drum and left hand are going to do.

I also needed to work out what happens when there are two written 8ths in the line like this:

EX 2.jpg

which is a nice turn round. Then the final part of the 'warm up' approach was to figure out what your 'moving parts' are going to play during a bar like this:

Ex 3.jpg

Then you have covered every possibility of the written notes. The only other thing to figure out is what happens during long rests - like bars 9 & 10 and 17 & 18 on the first page (page 38) of the Syncopation exercises. Once you have that down then you should be able to play any system that you're striving for. It's just a question of time, effort, concentration and will power.

best of luck
Gavin
 
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MGC101

Member
Gavin - I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to write that.

Humbling and insightful to hear that ways you may approach something like this, and it will be invaluable to me as I attempt some of these systems. I have been having so much fun just playing the original Dave Cutler system (with the snare filling in the gaps) and am finally working my way onto the second page. Even in my very basic attempts to try out the new systems you've mentioned, I can see that the approach you've suggested is the only feasible way. As you've stated, trying too much at once is literally torturous.

Thanks again Gavin. As I am sure is the case with a lot of us here, I have been practicing a lot during this quarantine. Out of all the textbooks and material I own, it's awesome that here I am back with my tattered copy of Syncopation and a batch of fresh systems. I can't think of a book I've gotten more mileage out of, and from the sounds of it, I've barely scratched the surface.

Michael
 
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